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In my abstract paintings shapes and forms are engaged in an open-ended, strange, and inviting narrative.  I am inspired by forms and sensations derived in Nature.  My imagination is metamorphic, whereby creatures turn into plants, plants turn into creatures. There is a kind of interconnectivity that reminds me of Hindu philosophy and religion but whether that is the case or not I tend to see forms as simultaneously distinct and becoming other forms. There is a blending of botanical-figural imagery which is derived from experiences in nature as well as the playing out of internal life dynamics. The push/pull power-play of relationships, for instance, is played out to morph elements in nature (tree-trunks, passages through woods) into forms which push against each other, reach toward one another or maintain a solitary distance. Negative spaces are saturated with color and light that tries to represent an insistence on presence, an insistence on existing.  My newest work adds experiments with texture like rain and types of light like dusk where the forms are impinged upon or shrouded behind.

In my paintings on paper I often work from unseen energy inspired by, for example, bird flight.  The air is energized by insects and birds along with their erratic flight trails.  In the plant life, images combine the already grown with the about to unfold and unfurl.  I am loosely painting out of a sense of hope and becoming.  There are metaphors about passages and journeys, of loneliness and inclusiveness. Linear elements, which are plentiful, are an attempt to draw a musical call and response with unconscious imagery.  Scientists have found that plants have a reaction to Mozart - mine are responding to Joni Mitchell, Miles Davis and Traffic.

I am connected in spirit to early modernists like Charles Burchfield, Arshile Gorky and Andre Masson, as I try to extend the possibilities of transmuting nature into a new voice.  I also feel a strong connection to artists like Balthus and Breughel, where there is a stillness, weight and psychological presence.

Studio Critical, Online Interview with Valerie Brennan

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